Baphomet: The Altered Narrative

I am quite happy with The Narrative of Baphomet, and will not be revising it. However, the later part of the narrative can be explained just as well in a different way. This new way of stating it, will now be the way the UAoS states it, going forward. It goes along very nicely with the Purpose And Core Values and The Baphomet Principle. With these things in place, no endorsements are required. If you go to The Narrative of Baphomet in The Satanic Narratives, you will notice a paragraph that starts the same as the first paragraph below. That is when you switch from the published Narrative of Baphomet to this.

This brings us to an understanding, where we can have certain moral truths. These truths can be expressed in a code of ethics. You can also express them with greater precision, by simply going over the fundamental concepts that are the pillars of modern secular ethics.

Arguably the most important thing is a pair of concepts that go together. These important ethical concepts are consent and bodily autonomy. Consent, permission, or willingness are subtly different ways of expressing desire and intention.

These concepts are critical in regard to a number of things, but happen to go well with bodily autonomy. One’s body and making decisions about that body are fundamental and prerequisite to many other things. One may be unable to provide consent due to illness, being unconscious, age, or cognitive disability. Most of the time people are able to make such a decision and having that choice is fundamental to all ethical concerns.

Being able to decide for yourself varies in importance depending on what it is, with one’s body being the most critical. You cannot really have any other freedom without a right to your body and your life. No one can ever violate the body of another without violating an ethical foundation central to the legal code of any modern, civilized society.

This brings us to personal freedom. Maximizing one’s personal freedoms should be the goal, and in conjunction with that, one must respect the personal freedoms of another. Taken in conjunction with the first pair, that means no one gets to tell you what to do with your body. It also means you must respect the body of another, and listen to their wishes.

Personal freedoms are not limited to something as basic as people themselves. It also covers speech, religion, and more. One has a right to one’s freedoms and an obligation to respect the freedoms of others.

Admitting and correcting mistakes is another basic concept. No one is perfect. Apologies and forgiveness will always be needed. Not every situation where there is conflict is going to call for it, but some of them will. This is a situation where there must be mutual consent.

The final idea is that these basic concepts here, regardless the form or forms they may come in, are always superior to any written code. No legal system of any kind can take precedence over these fundamental concepts.

The raw moral feelings and reason combine to give us these concepts. One can also consider these concepts in the context of one’s raw moral feelings, and then apply reason again. In this way, one shapes their ethics and morality.

The Narrative of Baphomet

“The nature of reality is: Shit Happens. Many events are largely beyond one’s control. There is no intentionality guiding anything. We are adrift in a chaotic universe, like a raft with no rudder or paddles, flowing through different currents, winds blowing us in different directions. One can exert a certain amount of influence, and accomplish things, but life is not fair, and a great many things are beyond one’s control.” —Narratives 4(Baphomet): 18-22

The Narrative of Baphomet is the fourth chapter in The Satanic Narratives: A modern Satanic Bible, and introduces the aspect of Baphomet: representing the use of logic, reason, and empirical evidence to shape our morality.

Rationality means evaluating the world you live in with reason and logic, but rationality is not cold. There are many who make the mistake of thinking that being “rational” means ignoring emotions, or being unfriendly or uncaring. But for a true rational observer, emotions are a very real and very important type of data. Values, feelings, and the connections you have to the ones you love are also very real data, and must therefore rationally be given their due weight in any decision that you make.

The person who fails to take into account xir own feelings, or the feelings of others, is behaving irrationally. The person who tries to pretend that joy and caring aren’t part of the real outcomes of behavior is ignoring evidence… and going down that path means you are divorced from reality, just as much as you would be if you ignored the evidence of economics, biology, or physics.

The Balancing Act

The fourth Core Value, “The use of logic, reason, and empirical evidence to shape our morality,” is derived from the Aspect of Baphomet. Those who are familiar with Eliphas Levi’s famous illustration of Baphomet will recognize the creature as a symbol of balance–human and animal, male and female, dark and light, to name a few things that Baphomet represents. Baphomet is also a symbol of reason, a representation of the weighing (or balancing) of evidence in order to perceive one’s circumstances correctly and therefore make choices in accordance with right thinking.

For the theist who acts in accordance with “God’s will,” right action is not determined by reason but by blindly following the dictates of deity. We as Satanists cannot afford to make this mistake, nor do we act in a contrarian manner towards what ideas are presented in holy books simply for the sake of being contrarian. There are some who identify as Satanists who think and behave in this manner, but they are simply being contrarian. Satanists do not choose to do the reverse of theists in an effort to be “evil,” they decide to act based on reason and not the marching orders of God.

When a supernatural deity is out of the picture, the Satanist is then accountable to himself or herself. He or she must not only take personal responsibility for his or her actions, but he or she must also act in a way that is true to himself or herself. Knowing oneself is key to determining right action. One must behave honestly and consistently with his or her values. He or she must possess the self-disciple necessary to constantly re-evaluate his or her actions through introspection.

If a wrong is committed against the self, he or she should resolve to amend his or her actions. If a wrong is committed against another, he or she should reach out to the other person and try to correct the wrong. Being accountable to oneself means taking responsibility for one’s actions, not blaming one’s faults on external factors, especially not a supernatural source.

To the Christian, forgiveness is given freely and immediately, for even the most egregious of offenses. To the Satanist, forgiveness, even the forgiving of oneself, is something that usually has to be earned. What is earned holds value, and we value right action that is balanced by reason and self-knowledge.

Hail Baphomet! Hail Satan!